Monday, April 19, 2010

Veal / Chicken Piccata

El Veal

The Pollo

Why two versions? Short story; Ryan doesn't eat anything other than chicken -let me rephrase that- Ryan eats boneless skinless chicken breasts and meats that have been processed, formed into patties or stuffed into meat socks to become sausages -that's all Ryan eats. I know what you're thinking, "surely, he must eat [insert tasty type of meat here]" and the answer to that is no. Here's a quick break down of what you're thinking and what the answer is:

Steak? No.
Pork chops? Don't insult him.
Ground beef? You betcha!
Every hoof, snout, and anus scrapped off the slaughter house floor, ground up and stuffed into sausages? All. Day. Long!

And that is Ryan in a nutshell and why I cooked two meals. But enough about Ryan and more about this recipe.

This was a very good Piccata. I had tried Ina Garten's recipe for Chicken Piccata and I have to admit I didn't care for it. I tried it because the reviews indicated it was very lemony, and it was, but that's all it was. Needless to say I never made it again and had lost my hopes of making it at home when Dad happen to bring home some veal. Well what were we to do but cook up this politically incorrect, albeit tasty, politically incorrect meat. I tried both the veal and the chicken versions and I have to say I liked the chicken version better. I'm sure coating the chicken breast in bread crumbs didn't hurt, but overall the chicken won out. I pounded the chicken very very thinly. I cannot stress the "very very thinly'' part enough. I don't know about you but I can never pound a chicken breast with a meat mallet so I use a rolling pin and it works wonders with less effort. Make sure you place chicken between two pieces of parchment paper first -seriously, don't forget.

Anyway this recipe is going to be choppy because it's half Emeril half Claud, and when anything is half Claud it can get a little confusing. But give it a go you won't be sorry, below I wrote in both options chicken or veal. You can do both like I did, I used 3/4 pound of veal and 2 boneless skinless chicken breast. If you do this I recommend you cook the chicken first and then the veal. You will need to add oil as needed in order to have enough oil to brown the meat.

One last thing, don't worry about the crushed red pepper flakes overpowering the dish or making it spicy because it does neither. It's simply in the background acting as a cheerleader to the lemon -and it's one tasty cheerleader ;)

Veal / Chicken Piccata
Original recipe by Emeril Legasse

4 veal scallops, about 3/4 pound, pounded to a thickness of 1/8-inch
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a shallow bowl or plate combine the flour, salt and pepper and stir to combine thoroughly. Quickly dredge the veal scallops in the seasoned flour mixture, shaking to remove any excess flour.

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast pounded thinly a little over 1/8th of an inch
Italian breadcrumbs
2 eggs
Whisk eggs in a bowl. Dip chicken in egg mixture, and then coat in breadcrumbs.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 garlic clove, chopped
1 lemon, juiced, or more to taste, (about 2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves, optional, plus sprigs for garnish
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 pinches crushed red pepper flakes

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter and, working quickly and in batches if necessary, cook the veal until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. For the chicken cook the chicken 3-4 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate, loosely tent with aluminum foil and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with wine and bring to a boil, scraping to remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the wine has reduced by half, add the chicken stock, chopped garlic, lemon juice and capers and cook for 5 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.

Whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of salt, remaining 3 1/2 tablespoons of butter, chopped parsley, and pepper flakes. When the butter has melted and the sauce has thickened, about 1 more minute, remove from heat. Plate the chicken, top with suace, and garnish with parsley sprigs, serve immediately.

Suggested serving companions: We had this with garlic mashed potatoes, which were very good. I usually have it with a side of plain spaghetti. I would highly recommend both.